Not Enough Fumes / Pocos Humos

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

During a dip in my “happiness” when we lived in Santa Barbara at the beginning of this century, I had suicidal thoughts. We lived in a pink townhouse. Life should have been rosey.

Usually, when I’m that low, I’m simply “passively suicidal.” I go to bed at night hoping I won’t wake up in the morning. Passive. But this time, I developed a plan. I was going to go downstairs, head out the back door, which led directly into the garage, and get in the car. I would start the engine. Carbon monoxide poisoning.

As I started down the stairs, I remembered that we had a Prius. A hybrid. Few fumes to begin with and, if the car were idle, it would simply switch to electric. I’m sure I wouldn’t have gone through with it anyway, but I’m very grateful for hybrid technology. And, yes, I did see the humor, even at the time.

A couple of years ago, we bought another Prius. It doesn’t really matter though; we don’t have a garage.

Durante un chapuzón en mi “felicidad” cuando vivíamos en Santa Bárbara a principios de este siglo, tuve pensamientos suicidas. Vivíamos en una casa rosa. La vida debería que haber sido “rosa.”

Por lo general, cuando estoy tan bajo, simplemente soy “pasivamente suicida”. Me acostaba por la noche esperando no despertarme por la mañana. Pasivo. Pero esta vez, desarrollé un plan. Iba a bajar las escaleras, salía por la puerta trasera que conducía directamente al garaje, y me subía al coche. Yo arrancaría el motor. Envenenamiento por monóxido de carbono.

Cuando empecé a bajar las escaleras, recordé que teníamos un Prius. Un híbrido. Para empezar, pocos vapores y, si el coche estuviera inactivo, simplemente cambiaría a eléctrico. Estoy seguro de que no lo habría superado de todos modos, pero estoy muy agradecido por la tecnología híbrida. Y, sí, vi el humor, incluso en ese momento.

Hace un par de años, compramos otro Prius. Aunque en realidad no importa; no tenemos garaje

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

26 thoughts on “Not Enough Fumes / Pocos Humos”

  1. I have had those thoughts too and not carried through. I think many of us have. A friend told me a year later that she was headed out to do something when I happened to call – it interrupted her enough that she stopped. As I said I didn’t even know it until much later. Sometimes some little thing you do has a big impact.

  2. “Technology for better living” — in this case, quite literally. Glad you’re still here to write this post.

    1. Debra:
      That exact phrase did cross my mind. If I focus on the things I would have missed in that time, I suppose I’m also glad I’ms still here.

  3. I hear this all the time: a small event or fateful matter thwarts what would have been a most likely suicide. Many folks later on see this as a relief or even a ‘sign’ they were to go on. I’m glad you are still among us.

    1. Urspo:
      I don’t believe much in “signs” anymore, but am at least grateful for timing and serendipity. Thank you for being glad!

  4. Truth be told, I think a great many people have suicidal thoughts at times in their lives but a little thing can stop it.
    I still remember Joan Rivers talking about her husband’s suicide and saying something about “that one moment” that might have changed his mind.
    i’m so glad you had “that moment.”
    I’m also glad you share your story because it makes the rest of us who’ve gone through a similar feeling, a similar thought, feel less alone.
    Big hugs!

    1. Bob:
      I’m sure you’re right. And I think perhaps I’m coming back up out of the hole. A good sign seems to be when I tell you about it here. Besides, I finally ironed a bunch of shirts this week. Shirts I haven’t worn for a year or two because they needed ironing. I’ve got to stick around at least long enough to wear them all.

  5. Wishing we could all be there to comfort you, until the dawn of feeling better. What a wonderful sunrise.

  6. “Dip in my happiness”, I like that phraseology 🙂 I’m so very happy you didn’t follow through, otherwise you would’ve missed out on the opportunity to meet me (I hope that doesn’t push you over the edge). I think the pink house would’ve done it for me. I attempted suicide once at around twelve years old. My mother laughed at me and said aspirin can’t kill me. I figured (at twelve mind you) that she wouldn’t care one way or the other, so I decided to stick around for my younger sisters’ sakes. They seem happy about it. I told Balder Half that sometimes it’s not that you want to die, it’s that existence can be so painful that you want to step away from it for awhile. My morbid sense of humor usually takes over.
    My virtual arms are getting sore from sending you these hugs, but it is so worth it 🙂

    1. Deedles:
      I am sincerely glad I stuck around to meet you! Truly glad. When I was in my 30s and being treated for depression, I told my mother I had often contemplated suicide. She said, “Oh, don’t be ridiculous!” When I was in my late teens and a therapist friend commented to my mother about how insecure I was, she said, “Oh, don’t be ridiculous!” And, your explanation to Balder Half is excellent. I am feeling those virtual hugs. Thank you!

  7. That is a very morbidly funny story, Mitchell. Even from the depths of your blues you are a great story teller. Let’s hear it for hybrid technology!

    This is from someone who has had a couple of episodes of “dips in my happiness” due to particular life circumstances, but has never had to cope (and do battle) with longterm chronic depression. I found the idea of suicide very comforting; the knowledge that I at least had the power to end my life was, ironically enough, a lifeline that got me through some tough times. Everyday I would say to myself that I could make it through today, but that if things sucked unbearably tomorrow, then suicide was a way out. i was able to do that for days on end until my situation improved. For me, the IDEA of suicide was a viable option. Probably not helpful for chronic depression, though.

    1. Wilma:
      Thank you for understanding the difference between depression and chronic depression. They can both be as painful, as damaging, and as dangerous, but they are very different. I think I may be recovering from the latest and I never stopped getting out, so at least there’s that. So sorry for what you’ve had to experience in your life. Glad you made it through!

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      I really am grateful to have connected with you! Those townhouses were wonderful inside. The exteriors were charming, although a bit too Pepto Bismol pink for my tastes. But gorgeous landscaping, too. I’ll find interior shots again and share. We had fun with that one!

    1. Parsnip:
      I hadn’t thought much about that description; it’s simply what came to mind. I’m so clever… Ugh!

  8. I had thoughts like that in high school. as deedles said “sometimes it’s not that you want to die, it’s that existence can be so painful that you want to step away from it for awhile.” STICK AROUND, FRIEND!

    1. anne marie:
      My “thoughts” began when I was around 16 and have continued ever since. Thankfully, with long dry spells between them now! As i mentioned to Bob, I just ironed a bunch of shirts I haven’t worn in years. I have to stick around at least long enought to wear them all… until they need washing and ironing again. That could take a while!

  9. We all have these thoughts as we trudge through this life. (I don’t make light of this)
    I must say that those dawn of new day photos make me smile and feel so warm inside.
    I took one last evening albeit friggin’ cold lout there.
    Mitch your world brings me joy and reprieve.
    Now go give SJ a hug!

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